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Grooming Your Chihuahua – Part #1

Grooming Your Chihuahua – Part #1

Short or Long Haired Chihuahuas

Long haired Chihuahuas will obviously need more grooming than those with short hair, however, the other aspects of grooming are the same for both types of dogs.  Brushing, bathing, nail trims, ear cleaning and attention to the anal glands if necessary are all aspects of grooming your Chihuahua.

Some owners prefer to skip the details and simply take their little one to the groomers periodically.  This is perfectly fine and in fact if you or your Chi are nervous about any part of the grooming procedure it is best to seek help from professionals.

Brushing

Short haired Chihuahuas don’t need brushing very frequently unless they like to roll in the grass or dirt.  Brushing them once per week is usually adequate, although many owners never brush their short haired Chis at all.  Getting into the habit of once weekly brushing is a good way for you and your little one to bond and it also allows you the chance to do a quick check over for any fleas, ticks or other lumps and bumps that may need attention.

Long haired Chihuahuas require quite a bit more attention.  Two to three times weekly you should spend time brushing out their coat to prevent serious matting and to keep their fur glossy and healthy looking.

A grooming glove, slicker brush or soft bristle brush are ideal for either short or long haired Chihuahuas.  Using a steel comb to remove tangles in long haired Chis is very helpful especially before and after bathing.

Bathing

Bathing is one of those chores that come with dog ownership that very few of us like.  Even if your Chi likes water it still ends up being a wet and messy job.  If you’re unfortunate enough to share your life with a Chi who doesn’t like water the job is even more challenging.

Fortunately, bathing is not required very frequently unless your little one likes to get dirty.  It is not good for your Chi’s skin or coat to be bathed too often as it strips away natural oils from the skin.  Chihuahuas that are bathed too frequently often end up with dry, flaky skin and dull fur coats. 

Using a mild shampoo formulated for dogs is important and can be found at any pet store or veterinarian’s office.  There are multiple shampoos out there depending on your Chihuahua’s skin type.  Just like human shampoos select the one that most suits your needs.

Ask ten people how often they bathe their Chi and you’re likely to get ten different answers.  Some people believe that bathing your pet every six months is adequate and others believe that weekly bathing is required.

The truth is that how often you bathe your Chi is very dependent on your particular pooch.  If your Chi is very dirty or smelly then you will need to bathe more frequently but as a general rule, once monthly bathing is fine.  You may find that you need to bathe your pet less frequently in the winter than summer because they spend less time outdoors getting dirty.  Adjust your schedule accordingly.

If your Chi is prone to skin irritations ask your veterinarian how frequently to bath and what type of shampoo to use.  Many shampoos help alleviate symptoms of skin problems but must be used according to the recommended schedule to be effective.

The other option that some owners resort to in between bathing is wet wipes.  There are products available that allow you to give your pet a quick freshen up with a damp wipe.  These wipes are infused with product and can address the problem of the Chi that likes to get dirty.  A quick clean up is often enough to keep them going in between monthly baths. 

A little attention to your Chi’s skin and coat will keep them looking healthy, smelling better and

keep you happy as well.

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